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Favorite Grinding Pads for Metalworking



A viewer, Victor, asked Kevin about his favorite grinding pads. Kevin explains these are the ones he now uses after becoming a full-time sculptor in 2006. They work best for him and are the most economical - some of these companies have clearance sales.

Kevin uses two angle grinders: a 4-1/2" grinder and a big monster 7" grinder.

Why?

That's Kevin's "get metal off quickly" grinder. It has a lot of weight and a lot of torque. It pulls a 7" disk with no problem. He shows a 7" 60 grit disk and says you can make metal fly with them.

You can also screw things up if you aren't paying attention, so be careful using these powerful destructive tools.

If Kevin has a really big mess to clean up and wants to get the work done quickly, he puts a grinding stone wheel on the 7" angle grinder. He uses PFX HP High Performance stones. They go through metal really quickly, whether you're tapering a weld or taking off a rough edge. Afterward, you can go back with a flap disk, or soft disk, and smooth things off.

While the 7" metal grinder is a two-handed grinder, for Kevin, his 4-1/2" angle grinder - as well as 4" grinders and 5" grinders - is a one-handed tool. He can hold his piece of metal with one hand and hold the grinder with the other.

He also has a stone for the little angle grinder for those small jobs where you have to get metal off fast.

Kevin also uses three different grits of soft pads, or flap disks: 40 grit, 60 grit and 80 grit. Each one goes a little finer, to get the metal smoother and get the grrrs out of them. That gets them more or less ready for the powder coater, painter or even to rust a sculpture. It makes the sculptures even and uniform, helping get a decent looking finish.

He gets his flap disks at AA Abrasive.

When it comes to grinding, the most important issue is safety. You need a dust mask or a respirator - you don't want to breathe what is coming off of that metal and those pads!

Use good safety glasses or full face protection as well as hearing protection. Kevin's have AM FM piped in to his "Mickey Mouses" ear muffs - you can listen to some tunes while you're working to make things go a little quicker.

Don't forget gloves to protect your hands, and don't wear loose clothing that can get caught by a grinder. A grinder can rip your shirt - and you.

Kevin hopes that answers Victor's question and helps everyone out there. He'd appreciate you hitting "Like" right now if you did.

Kevin Caron is ready to go back to work, but you might want to wait long enough to see him practice his Frisbee skills .....

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